tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC June 26, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
welcome to "world news." tonight -- storming ashore. debby swamps florida with 30 inches of rain. beaches, highways, entire towns under water. homes swallowed by sinkholes. our ginger zee tours the flood zone by boat. unstoppable. record-shadowing heat. we're with the firefighters in the inferno. mother's little helper. mothers step into the pills that they say turn them into supermoms. but what about the risks. and what a scream, dads and what's brand-new about the generation gap.
good evening. diane is off tonight. and we begin with dueling disasters. tropical storm debby is barreling through the gulf, dumping more than 2 feet of water in 24 hours. florida is saturated in a state of emergency tonight. in florida today, president obama has called the governor to offer personal condolences and federal help, vowing that know need will go unmet as florida faces this challenge. meantime in the west, wildfires are raging out of control as blistering heat shatters records and scorches colorado. our weather team is across the danger zones tonight. abc's meteorologist ginger zee starts us off with the floods in florida. good evening, ginger. >> reporter: george, it's been hours, look at people abandoning their cars and now even their homes. the bad news is debby isn't done. debby is a disaster by a million rain drops.
drop by menacing drops. >> they came by in the big trucks and flood. when the waves come, they go right in the front door. >> reporter: desperately trying to stop the big trucks in his little boat, dennis says it doesn't have to be this way. >> i feel discarded. that's what i feel. i feel discarded if i had eight or ten sandbags the house wouldn't flood. >> reporter: we called the live oak fire department. we heard you might be able to help? they said they've been overwhelmed by calls -- people's safety, their priority. but they would do their best to get to dennis and his neighbors. people wading through water so deep, the pools are now ponds. floodwaters along at least a 50-mile stretch of i-10 have caused authorities to close portions of florida's main highways.
and across the state, soil erosion has opened up dozens of sinkholes, sucking homes and cars into the earth. in jacksonville, heavy rains closed roads and made driving barely manageable. people wading through just trying to make it through. and the water keeps rising -- tonight, dennis dukes and his wife are choosing to leave their beloved home, the sandbags doing little to hold back the water. >> come on. it's going to be fine. >> reporter: george, locals have told us these waters are full of creatures, one being snakes and the other fire ants. we've seen clumps of videos. this is what they look like. i guess when they hit a dry boot or leg, they explode and bite. >> wow, stay away from those. my abc colleague, abc's weather editor, they have fallen now and where is the storm ending? >> we can see debby pushing a lot of rain but haven't picked a direction.
but now we have a direction. if we look at the path of the hurricane laid out for us, it will out out to north florida and shoot out and find itself in the atlantic. the good news here is, even if it strengthens again, this not going to be an east coast storm. look at the incredible rainfall totals. you mentioned at the top of the show. 30 inches in curtis mill. there will be plenty of places in north florida that get 25 inches of rain. >> meantime, out west no relief yet from the 00 heat? >> george, i've got to tell you, this may be the bigger story. rapid city at 100 degrees. go to mecca, saudi arabia, one of the warmest places on the planet regularly, 109 degrees. we're rivaling some of the hottest places on the planet. and thursday, in places like kansas city, also close to that in chicago as well. then that heat will spread to the east coast. in the 90s probably by then.
>> we've got to keep an eye on that. sam, thanks very much. all that record-breaking heat sam just talked about making the challenge even more difficult for the brave men and women on the front end of the blaze. here's abc's alex perez. >> reporter: the fire near colorado springs is still raging. 6,000 people evacuated another 7,000 warned they may have to get out soon. this is the closest we've been allowed to the waldo canyon fire. here you can tell firefighters were able to get it under control but look over the mountain there, the fire is still burning. complicating matters the blistering dry temperatures. the high in denver today 105 degrees. it's like battling a blaze inside an oven. just to give you an idea how hot it is out here, firefighter gave has been fighting this, right now, 117 degrees. this is a race against time. once a fire begins it can spread at a rate of up to 14 miles per hour just look at this video of a texas wildfire from last year and how quickly it consumes the dry brush on the ground and
scorches treetops. >> any one spark will start a fire. >> reporter: the firefight across the state of colorado has already cost $30 million. the tourism industry by one estimate is losing $1 million a day as some state parks are forced to close. >> oh, my god, look at that. >> reporter: the fire is pressing the heart of those who live here. >> i've been on pins and needles, my car's been packed. not going far from home. i'm afraid to leave my home. i don't want to leave my home. >> reporter: as you can see, there are homes right near this fire. authorities are expected to continue battling the blaze in excruciating heat in the next few days. now to politics, "your voice your vote," 132 days until americans head to the polls. the fight over latino voters is on the way to the white house.
>> 132 days as you point out, both sides aggressively going after hispanic voters. mitt romney faces a steeper climb. when it comes do courting aggressive voters, some have been asking is mitt too mum? [ speaking spanish ] >> reporter: call it the hispanic hurdle facing mitt romney. the newest polling shows only about a quarter of hispanics favor him. political observers say he needs more than that to win. tonight, 24 hours after that supreme court ruling, upholding the most controversial part of that arizonian law, the show me your papers part, empowering police in routine stops to ask for someone's status. romney weighed in today, carefully. after once calling part of the arizona law a model during the primary -- >> i think you see a model here in arizona. >> reporter: -- today, he avo avoided the law, and turning it on the promise who promised immigration reform. >> he did nothing.
why did he fail to da that? so the supreme court had to step in because states had to step in. looking to solve the problems he didn't address and what we're left with is a bit of a muddle. >> reporter: but what is also murky, is where romney stands on the other major immigration move. that sudden shift from president obama no longer deporting young undocumented immigrants. romney was asked repeatedly would he repeal that while working on his own immigration reform? >> we'll look at that setting as we, as we reach that. >> reporter: political observers say what we're now seeing is a balancing act. an effort to hold onto conservative voters won over by tough talk during the primary without alienating the hispanic voters romney needs now. >> i think mitt romney at some point is going to have to address this issue if he is going to overcome this hurdle and get where he needs among latino voters. >> reporter: president bush in 2004 won with 44% of the hispanic vote. four years later, john mccain lost with 31% of hispanics. right now, romney is polling even lower that that, in the 20s. a number many say is not strong
>> that is why he needs to get about 10 more points in the course of the next 120 days if he's going to win places like colorado, nevada, and florida. >> that is a lot of ground to make up. part of that with white men and married women. the romney campaign has repeatedly told me the number one issue is the economy. they are always quick to point out the unemployments with hispanics higher than in the country. you saw that in battleground of virginia, romney said, if obama care in his words is not deemed unconstitutional then the first 3 1/2 years o president's term will have been waisted tha has not help. we turn to the housing market. for the first time in seven months, the case-schiller index shows home prices were up by 1.3%. san francisco, detroit, phoenix saw the biggest jump. the worst of the housing mess may be over.
and we learned today for a major victory for the fbi. the biggest international cybersning the country. 24 arrests in 13 countries and 11 suspects in the u.s. alone. agents set up a fake website where cyber criminals believed they were buying and selling stolen credit cards numbers and even bank information. even swapping techniques. from northern new york to australia. and now to healthy living. a surprising study that could change the way we think about dieting. when it comes to counting calories, what kinds we take it may matter as what kind we take in. abc's amy robach has more. >> reporter: the study tried to answer why so few of us are able to lose weight and keep it off. the answer, it's not enough to count calories. it matters what kinds of food those calories come from. >> the notion that a calorie's a calorie has been dogma for many years, but also, an argument that the food industry loves
because they can market the 100 calorie packet junk food. >> reporter: the study compared three basic diets with the same number of calories, but in different forms. a low-fat diet. a low-carb, high-protein diet like atkins. and what's called a low-glycemic diet, which includes normal amounts of protein, fat, and carbs, but avoids processed carbohydrates like white rice, white bread, and sugar. the results? researchers found that the l low-glycemic diet actually speeds up our diets. instead of picking up this white bread, get the stone ground whole wheat bread, where you can actually see the kernels. and instead of instant oatmeal, go for the steel cut, old fashioned kind. >> the quality of the calories that we eat can affect the number of calories that we burn
off. and that difference could be equal to an hour of physical activity without even lifting a finger. >> reporter: not a magic bullet in losing weight, but some help it's a struggle. amy robach, abc, new york. and when we come back, moms around the countrying into the shadows tonight to share the secrets of their success. it's a tiny pill that may carry big dangers, too. [ male announcer ] considering all your mouth goes through,
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we turn now to women stepping out of the shadows revealing how far they'll go to have it all. mothers and wives juggling all the demands of work and home with a pill being called mother's new little helper. it's been exploding in popularity among women in their 20s and 30s. in just eight years, the number of prescriptions is up 750%. abc's dan harris reports using that pill may create a high price. >> reporter: they are moms in the shadows, all over america, drowning in their daily responsibilities. [ phone bringing ] >> i'm a single mother of three. >> active in the community. juggle workload and children. >> reporter: we received a wave of anonymous voicemails and e-mails from a hidden underworld of mothers who have found what they say is a secret way to do it all. >> with the help of adderall. moms who take adderall.
>> and i do in fact take adderall. >> reporter: adderall. and these women don't have adhd. they say they need adderall to be better mothers. we persuaded one of these moms to step out of the shadows. her name -- betsy degree, from suburban minneapolis. >> i grew up in a house where my mom was very neat, everything was really clean, beautiful dinners every night and that didn't come naturally for me. >> ohio -- hi sweetie. >> reporter: several years ago, one of her children was prescribed adderall for adhd. in a moment of desperation, she stole a pill from her own child, and she says it worked. >> i was able to get all the stuff done around the house. i was able to cook the dinner and have everything perfect. >> reporter: did it make you feel like super mom? >> it did. >> reporter: you've said you would go from undoable loads of laundry to -- >> -- staying up until 3:00 a.m. getting it all done. >> reporter: she says she thought she'd only take it once. >> i couldn't stop. i could not stop taking them. i'd say i'm just going to take them one more time. >> reporter: when she ran out, she had to trick the family doctor into writing more prescriptions. >> i would call and say we lost them.
i would call and say that dose isn't right. >> reporter: you were trying every trick in the book. >> every trick in the book. >> reporter: this need for trickery has created a whole online ecosystem. check this out -- if you go on yahoo! and type in the words "how do i get my doctor to prescribe adderall," you can get tens of millions of results. joani gammil, a registered nurse, started taking adderall after finding a book that told her how to lie to her doctor to get the drug. >> your life becomes a squirrel, just looking for that nut, looking for that adderall. >> reporter: addiction doctors tell us this situation is getting out of control. >> we're seeing an increase in the use of adderall and other amphetamines by women. a really powerful stimulant. it can cause seizures, strokes, heart attacks, even death. >> reporter: one day, joani -- who, remember, is a nurse, took ten adderall pills and nearly died of an overdose. >> i knew i was probably having a heart attack on adderall.
>> reporter: and when betsey, who admits she struggled with addiction issues all of her life, decided she could no longer fool her doctor. listen to what she did next. >> then i switched to meth. >> reporter: you switched to meth? >> i did. >> reporter: she lost her business, and she says she nearly lost her children. both women are now clean and they have this advice for any mom considering taking adderall. >> don't. it can happen to anybody. >> reporter: dan harris, abc news, white bear lake, minnesota. >> we want to hear what you think and keep the conversation going online. later tonight, our done dr. bers is hosting a twitter chat with a team of addiction experts. use the hash tag abcdr.chat. coming up history tonight, a huge change to college football. lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down.
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and down the american. and she's not alone. from the czech republic. and from li na from china, a rose on her forearm. they dress in white. you can see more on espn, espn and this sunday right here on abc. and now a moment of true grit. watch 27-year-old ben parkinson carry the olympic torch in england. he lost both legs and suffered brain injuries from a bomb attack in afghanistan. his mother said he practiced for two weeks carrying a duplicate torch. no crutches. there he is surrounded by the whole family. what a champion. for our friend robin roberts, for a bone marrow drive, over 200 swabbed their cheeks to become donors.
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many of us have been there, but not all of us get caught on tape which may be why the video of a dad and his daughter on a wild ride has become an internet sensation. he looks scared to death, she's having the time of her life. together, they are teaching us something new about the generation gap. abc's sharon alps fonsi checked out the rides at coney island to tell that story. >> reporter: pigeon forge, tennessee, a father and daughter strapped on the ride. he does. within seconds, pure terror watches over his face, joy on hers. and then -- [ screaming ] >> i can't take it, elizabeth!
>> reporter: and then as the ride comes to the end, most surprisingly, he does do it again. >> oh, take me up again. i'll do it with you, honey. >> reporter: the three-minute video has become a viral sensation. viewers posting messages. what a trooper. that's a great dad. i hope she appreciates this when she's a teenager. at coney island, we met plenty of brave parents. whose the bravest one? who screams louder? >> me. >> reporter: no fear? >> no. >> reporter: remember that "modern family" episode? >> are you okay, dad? >> no, i'm not okay. i hate to say this, these rides are killing me. >> reporter: not that it's wiser or wimpier, there's a physical reason why some enjoy the ride. as we get older, the small bones in our ears stiffen, and affects our balance. meaning we adjust less quickly to falling or anything else that
expects fast changes in our bodies like that roller coaster. and while doctors say there really say good physical explanation why she enjoyed this ride more than him -- it does help if you have a good hand to hold. sharyn alfonsi, abc news, coney island. >> that's all for us. get the latest news all night long on abcnews.com. and i'll see you tomorrow on "gma." good night.